A study carried out by the BBVA which investigates the effects that living in an extremely densely populated urban area has on its population in terms of economy and quality of life has revealed that Murcia is the fourth best city to live in, in Spain, in terms of health conditions, and is only beaten by Toledo, Guadalajara and Madrid.
The study purely takes into account the 73 cities with a minimum population density of 1,500 inhabitants per square kilometre, or in other words, those will a population larger than 50,000. In Murcia, there are only three: Murcia, Cartagena and Lorca.
As well as analysing socio-economic factors such as the level of employment, wages, education and access to a property, the study also delves into issues such as crime levels, election participation, the amount spent on each resident by the town hall, health conditions, life expectancy, suicide rates and death rate.
The city of Lorca fares best when it comes to the socioeconomic conditions enjoyed by its inhabitants, where it is placed in ninth position out of the 73, beaten by cities such as Ibiza, Barcelona, San Sebastian and Palma de Mallorca.
On the other hand, it has been ranked in the 10 worst cities for research, development and innovation capacity, along with Benidorm and Torrevieja, which is actually the worst.
Cartagena doesn’t fare much better in this department, being ranked in 17th position, nor does it stand out with good results in any of the other criteria studied.
A further in-depth study was made of Murcia and some of the other larger cities.
The regional capital has a population of 620,316 and the average income of each household is €26,875, which is slightly above the national average of €26,436.
It has also been noted that between 2009 and 2013, a total of 2.4 per cent of the jobs in Murcia were destroyed. However, between 2013 and 2016, 4.5 per cent of new jobs were created, a percentage that is 1.3 per cent higher than the number of job creations in the other major cities.
Regarding types of job, 0.6 per cent of people working in Murcia City are chairmen or heads of public or private companies, 29 per cent are directors, managers or trained professional technicians and 22.6 per cent are public servants.
Finally, the study looked at the general conditions of living in a large urban area and found the in Murcia, the crime rate is 158 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants compared to an average of 216 crimes in the cities; the average travelling time to work is 19.6 minutes compared to the average of 23.3 minutes; the ratio of green areas and concrete is 6.9 per cent and the suicide rate is 6.8 suicides for every 100,000 residents.